GENESIS - THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY

September is my birthday month! Starting Sept 13th I'm asking for donations for website expenses and if there's enough left over I'd like a cup of coffee :)

Close
It

click for homepage

Beatles At Amazon


      

      

Peter Gabriel rarely has done anything without some portent or meaning to it. No, not earth shattering, but definitely a work worthy of literature and interpretation, especially about the Journey of the Self. I think the first thing that has to be observed, is what 'sense' any story gives you that is told on this album. Whether it is in linear telling of tale, or if it is scattered and chaotic, you're still going to get a sense of what's being said.

genesis I have no aversion to saying that what was going on in the lives of this Genesis line-up did not affect what lyrics were used, or influence what ended up being said, because that can be shown in any number of bands, The Beatles being a prime example of 'inner-politic' and animosity being ''lyrically'' transmitted as if it were a conversation. Supertramp is another prime example of two writers falling out on album (Hodgson & Davies). But I'm not sure if such tensions were as evident on Lamb. I know you can hear a split between the direction Gabriel would go (The Chamber of 32 Doors) musically. Chamber is a style that Gabriel would pursue throughout his solo career. The whole section ''I need someone to believe in, someone to trust'' wouldn't sound out of place on any Gabriel solo album at all. He still does stuff like this.

No matter what confusing narrative, surreal imagery, cultural icon name dropping that happens in Lamb, there are three main points that are being alluded to. Now I'm sure everyone has those 3, and the various interpretations found on the web all bring these up. I may note them, but you may find that some are very easily discredited, because they look at one source of possible explanation, without adding any surrounding information to support it. 1 case is the possible name dropping of John Lennon, as Brother John No.9. It's fine to accept that as a drop of name to Lennon, but it totally ignores the line that precedes it, which is not complimentary at all (from the song The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging). If it were a namedrop, and it is known that Lennon was a fan of Genesis, and they a fan of him, the line that precedes Brother John No.9 would place Lennon with the likes of these:

Everyone's a sales representative Wearing slogans in their shrine. Dishing out failsafe superlative

Not complimentary, especially when you consider the fact that Lennon did approach any Peace campaign as if it were marketable like Coca Cola. Not Gandhi or King's actual goals with attaining Peace if I must add.

Anyway, the three main parts of The Lamb.

Rael. Whatever has happened, Rael has committed something. Whether it be a crime, or something else, Rael is guilty of something. The criminal element is brought up by his whole Puerto Rican Ghetto Street Kid persona, his time at Pontiac (a reformatory in NJ), and his attitudes about city life. It is obvious he is a street kid in trouble, and it is obvious he has done something wrong, because of...

Brother John. It may not necessarily even be a blood relation. It could be just a John Doe, another human being. But whatever Rael has done, has affected this character. To the point that any redemption of Rael is absolutely hinged on saving Brother John in some way. Without Brother John, Rael will go nowhere while trapped in this ''world'' he is in. It is only through sacrificing his own 'safety' and Self, that Rael gets redemption.

And point 3 is, whatever Rael's problem is, or whatever crime he committed, it had something to do with the sexual or carnal motive. Now whether this is some sort of sex crime, or sexual more he is breaking is undetermined, but I think what is more being alluded to here is the production of testosterone, and male aggression. It would seem fitting that in a tale of a tough street punk, who has to learn another way to be, emasculation or castration and the suppression of male aggressiveness, which leads to many fights (within and without) is his main cause of downfall. Without this guiding influence, Rael has half a chance of redemption. Hence the Visit to the Doktor.

From there you can build what does turn out to be an almost linear tale, and even though some suggest certain songs bare little point in this tale (like Counting Out Time, or Cuckoo Cocoon), they do serve to set up what is next to be explored. They are introductions to the next main subject at hand, and the next part of Rael's 'Self'. Apart from being a huge fan of this work, I particularly love the imagery used lyrically that Gabriel came up with. In particular, this line from The Carpet Crawlers (aka Carpet Crawl amongst other names):

A salamander scurries into flame to be destroyed.

That is just beautiful, especially in context with the rest of the song, and it always reminds me of M.C.Escher . But one thing that is really remarkable on this album lyrically, is its visual power. And how it goes from what seems to be incredibly large scale, panoramic scenes (The Rapids, NYC, The Subway) to the incredibly miniscule (The Fly, The Carpet Crawlers). Part of this album feels sub-atomic if you ask me. Into the molecule regions.

genesis I have always thought this would make a tremendous animated movie, though you run into the danger of taking away people's own visions of what Rael's journey looks like, I think animation is something that could capture this alternate universe in a way that CGI would make look fake. Either that or very simple, dramatic effects to emphasise the visual tone of the lyrics. I've seen Bollywood films that create a whole universe to dance in by using simple lighting effects which look remarkable for the time (The 60's Jal Bin Macchli). The Lamb also would be served by Citizen Kane style filmmaking, as noted in the graphics for the album. But I always saw animation for any filmed version of The Lamb, because it would make an incredible film. But, as stated before, those 3 main points are general in nature. They are the basic ''things'' that are coming across, and moving through the whole work. It is never stated that Rael has committed a crime, and the only reason we think he has, is because he seems to be paying for it throughout the piece, and that his background as a character says he is ''likely'' to commit a crime.

As evidenced by the end, Brother John turns out to be Rael in the finale, or a version of him he had to be reconciled with, before escaping this alternate existence.

And the sex part, even with all its pointed allusions to it being about emasculation/castration, could even be about The Ego.

But the following ''interpretations'' delves into that a bit deeper, beyond those obvious main ''Chapters of Thought''.

"Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world"

The first thing that has to be dealt with is the Lamb itself. It is most likely, with Genesisís background, and possibly Gabriel believing the character of Rael would be Western Catholic (being Hispanic), that the lamb that lies down on Broadway is the Agnus Dei.

The word agnus means lamb. The name Agnes, or its derivatives "Agna, Agne, Agneda, Agnella, Agnessa, Agnese, Agneta, Inez, Ines, Inista, [and] Neysa" [Dunne, 5] means lamb. Lamb together with "dei," meaning "of god," makes Agnus Dei an entirely different from any other agnus. Agnus Dei means the sacrificial Lamb of God, the Son of God, Jesus. http://www.mathnstuff.com/papers/ag.htm

This is not suggesting Jesus himself drops by New York to make a visit. I think what is more important is the mythology of the Lamb, not what it is. We are told right from the start that the Lamb is not important, nor why it is there, it just lies down. But that the Lamb in Western Dogma is representative of the sacrificial lamb, or that which is slaughtered for the sins the world creates, much like Christís crucifixion on the cross. In simpler aspects, the lamb is basically just a peaceful creature. But in this telling, the lambís appearance on Broadway is slightly ominous and certainly ushers forth anything that is about to happen in Raelís world(s).

The lamb seems right out of place, Yet the Broadway street scene finds a focus in its face. Somehow it's lying there, Brings a stillness to the air.

The Annotated Lamb Lies Down, discusses the possibility that Rael is a Christ-like figure, who is about to be punished for the sins of the world, and I would tend to agree with this. Itís too coincidental that all of a sudden, a Lamb appears out of nowhere, just for the sake of it. Itís setting the tone of the whole piece, but its not there to say this story is about me. This story could be about me, but its better you pay attention to what happens to Rael, than concentrate on why Iíve lied down on Broadway. Itís important Iím here, nonetheless. Annotated Lamb also pays attention to this portion of the inner sleeve text:

While I write I like to glance at the butterflies in glass that are all around the walls. The people in memory are pinned to events I can't recall too well, but I'm putting one down to watch him break up, decompose and feed another sort of life. The one in question is all fully biodegradable material and categorised as 'Rael'. Rael hates me, I like Rael, -- yes, even ostriches have feelings, but our relationship is something both of us are learning to live with. Rael likes a good time, I like a good rhyme, but you won't see me directly anymore -- he hates my being around. So if his story doesn't stand, I might lend a hand, you understand? (ie. the rhyme is planned, dummies).

genesis Who this is, is an important question to ask. Is it Brother John? And like Annotated asks, is it God, or Raelís Soul thatís speaking at this point? Whoever this is, they are important to the tale, just like the Lamb is, because whatever Rael is about to go through, they have something to do with it. This line in particular: I'm putting one down to watch him break up, decompose and feed another sort of life, suggests that this character is directly responsible for Raelís future. That this person collects butterflies seems inconsequential, but it does set up the image that Rael is as Ďsmallí to this collector as are his butterflies. Or as equally as important. No one knows, other than he states that peopleís memories are pinned like these butterflies. I'm reminded of a science fiction story I read a couple of years ago in a collection of short stories. Whether this was Isaac Asimov or not I do not know, but the whole statement above by Gabriel reminds me of this story. An astronaut lands on a planet, only to discover a huge building. He sees all collection of everything there, everything imaginable, things from Earth and beyond, and he realises he has stumbled into the House of God, or where everything was created. But everything is displayed like butterfly collections, which disturbs him the most, because it points out part of the insignificance of human's creation, surrounded by thousands of other creations. It's a remarkable story, I wish I could remember the name of it, or its author, but whenever I read Gabriel's passage about the Butterfly Collector in the Lamb, I think of this story, which might predate it, or came after. So in this first few minutes we have been introduced to 3 characters, in song, and by the inner sleeve story.

''The Butterfly Collector'' The Lamb Rael

The introduction of these three characters sets up the narrative or the tone of the piece just by the nature of their personailities/mythologies. Gabriel didn't need to do anything else, or add on to, he had already set up what this story is about just by the images he has used.

The Butterfly Collector is an unnamed person/entity, who is directly responsible, by admission, for Rael's future circumstances, and for the story you are about to be told. They announce themselves as protagonist and friend to Rael, at the same time. Whether Rael is aware of who this actually is, is uncertain. All we know is Rael hates The Butterfly Collector, and the Collector likes Rael. It can also be observed that The Butterfly Collector is almost like the master of ceremonies, with his quick entrance and exit. They arrive almost as quickly as they leave. And we are also told the the Collector has power. They are about to put down the person known as Rael, who is also referred to as Bio-degradeable, practically expendable. But Rael's sacrifice will go on to support another form of life, and that all is not for nothing, but something.

The Lamb enters silently, and never does a thing. To describe its place in the narrative, is like trying to describe how a seashell comes to represent whats in the sea, just by being washed ashore. But its just as important to The Lamb Lies . . . because it sets what being put down means. And in using the symbolic sacrificial Lamb, we are about to see how that applies to Rael. The Lamb of sacrifice is often associated with Western Christian idealogy, but it really first surfaces, in identification with a person suffering for the sins of mankind, from the prophet Isaiah, in the Old Testament. Anything Isaiah had to say about the suffering and persecution of the Jewish people for the worlds sins, still survives today, and the Jesus of Nazareth story is built from that perception. Of course, to enter into that discussion, is another piece. But the Lamb of sacrifice, and its whole symbolism and mythology lent to Jesus, bares root in the prophecies of Isaiah.

By association alone, feeling that The Lamb means nothing to this story, may mean not getting what this work is about at all. The Lamb almost becomes more important than Rael or The Butterfly Collector in saying what this story is to be about. So strong in its 'non-presence' is it.

Isaiah 53

1. Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2. For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground: he has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we would desire him.
3. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4. Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him beaten and buffeted and afflicted by God.
5. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.
8. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he beaten.
9. And he was given his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; Even though he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth,
10. the LORD was pleased to bruise him. he has put him to grief: if you shall put his soul as a sin offering, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: By his knowledge my righteous servant shall justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he exposed his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

And then we have . . . .

Rael.
As we get to Rael, we have to come to some conclusions by story (inner sleeve) and song. We are inclined to believe that he is guilty of a crime, and that he is about to be punished. But nowhere in this story are we given any clue as to what this crime is, and after reading Isaiah 53, the character of Rael makes much more sense. More sense than the Lamb lying down, or the Butterfly Collector. The indication we are given that he is trouble, is by his character itself. The only thing he is truly guilty of by story start, is possible vandalism with a Spray Can. Though there is the admittance that Rael spent time in a Pontiac reformatory, his emergence from the Subway doesn't tell the viewer that Rael is emerging from doing anything other than this. His Puerto Rican/Barrio background says 'oh he's going to be guilty of something anyway' but in truth, Rael has done nothing wrong before The Wall of Death/Black Cloud descends upon Times Square with the unseen appearance of The Lamb. Nothing that we know of.

The lyrics of the title track do not quite tell Rael's emergence from the Subway as well as the actual Story does. But I feel that the lyrics and the story are separate entities, telling the same story. So far, I'm just going to deal lyrically with it, because the story is another matter altogether. More things are explained in it, but the lyrics are imagery, and sometimes a story can't quite come across as simply as a verse, or poetry does.

genesis The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is basically Act 1, First scene, Rael enters. It's as simple as that, just like a Broadway show or West End play. The narrator/MC (The Butterfly Collector) has announced the start, The Lamb is lowered down to set the atmosphere and tone of the piece, and Rael enters stage right or left to begin. Lyrically, the title track says it all and not much. The only anomalies are Suzanne and the Cab Driver, who cross Rael's path. This is better described in the Story, because in the lyric, they appear, something happens, Rael hurls abuse (And the sawdust king spits out his scorn, and we almost immediately enter into Rael's transformation, as well as the city's. In the Story, Rael makes it past this interruption all the way up to another section of NYC. But with Suzanne's and the Cab Driver's appearance, the change begins. It is interesting to note what The Annotated Lamb adds about the character of Suzanne.

This may be a reference to the somewhat popular song entitled "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen, 1966. The song "Suzanne" is about waking up and/or realization, which certainly parallels the "Lamb" epic. In the lyrics to Suzanne, it is obvious that her work is all done. Here's a sampling of the lyrics: "And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind, For she's touched your perfect body with her mind. "Now Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water, and he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower, and when he knew for certain that only drowning men could see him, he said all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them. But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open. Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone. "And you want to travel with him, and you want to travel blind, For he's touched your perfect body with his mind. This seemingly makes a tie to the suggestion that there is an undercurrent of Biblical references throughout the "Lamb" lyrics.

FLY ON THE WINDSHIELD

The transformation begins. Something that is rarely said, is how great the music played by Hackett/Collins/Rutherford and Banks matches lyrically the songs on The Lamb. It really is an incredible fusion of dramatic storytelling on two levels. And visually, Rael, with dust encrusted about his form, waiting for the Wall to hit, I can see in my head as a stunning image to see on screen. Especially if you have that wall hitting when the band fully kicks in, but the wall hits in slow motion. So hard to describe, but I know you'll know what I mean. Fly on the Windshield tells us how big Rael feels in NYC, but how small he is in the scope of things. It is a beautiful, beautiful piece just in visual and audio power alone. I can't say much about the lyric in context with The Lamb story, because it simply describes Rael's exit from our Reality, into the Other. This and the next song, are quite definitely, my favourite 'songs' from Lamb.

BROADWAY MELODY OF 1974

Here we have entered into the Other World that Rael has been sent to. It is upside down compared to our world, and lyrically it sets up juxtapositions with cultural icons, and what we perceive them to be, and how it is not that way in the realm Rael has just been assigned to. But the Biblical references haven't stopped for the sake of a mention of Groucho Marx.

Echoes of the Broadway Everglades
This line calls up imagery, just by mention of the Everglades, of what existed before Broadway was ever Broadway. The Everglades are practically uninhabitable swamp and wilderness. It is nature before 'civilisation' touched it and made Times Square, and everything else.

With her mythical madonnas still walking in their shades
The reference to madonna[s] brings up the first Biblical allusion, and its important to see 'shades' not only as what could possibly be sunglasses, but maybe 'the shades of The Everglades', or that provided by its wilderness. The time when we walked in and with Nature. Maybe in Eden. Whether this is what's being eluded to in an obtuse way is possible. The Everglades could be a funny way of saying Eden. That the Madonna's are Mythical, may be an accusation about the story of The Madonna in the tale of Jesus Christ. These lines conjur up The Past, something that came before, that has something to do with Rael's journey. Though saying what they are actually about is harder done, they are definitely related to Rael's rite of passage, and maybe even his Christ-like/Isaiah prophesised Messiah. The Madonnas mention isn't like the rest of the song's personalities, there is no juxtaposition with the personality we know of, and what they are like in Rael's new world. The Madonnas aren't presented like Groucho, or Lenny Bruce, they are part of a world gone, or subject to Lies, or Myth.

Lenny Bruce declares a truce and plays his other hand
The 1960's most controversial comedian, would hardly call a truce, but in this Realm he does, and even compromises to some degree how he copes with whomever is giving him problems enough to declare a truce. This outspoken comedian was jailed for obscenity in 1961, and a drug conviction in 1963. He died in 1966, but probably inspired a whole wave of 1970's comedians who were 'on the edge'. In this realm, Lenny Bruce has no 'spine', no backbone, and is hardly outrageous or obscene.

Marshall McLuhen, casual viewin', head buried in the sand
That McLuhen would do anything casual in the 1970's is unreasonable. I've read his contributions to a book called Subliminal Seduction, which went into the ways advertisers subliminally placed messages/images into every known advertisement, in quite sick ways. It's actually still done. Many of the things McLuhen stated would be the way technology and media would shape 'civilised' society and popular culture are painstakingly true today, moreso than ever. He was hailed and derided at the same time. Annotated excerpt: McLuhan also suggested that everything is going through a process of speeding up. This shapes the society, and produces a sped-up culture

Sirens on the rooftops wailing, but there's no ship sailing
The Sirens hail from Greek mythology, and Homer's Odyssey. They would lure sailors to their deaths with their magical songs.But what is also being mentioned here, just by association is the tale of Odysseus and his journey back home from the Trojan War, probably one of the most re-interpreted works in modern civilisation from ancient culture. It was told as Ulysses later on, but what Odysseus discovers on his journey back home, makes the war effort seem ludicrous, and that he has wasted his time. Particularly when he encounters a dead warrior he thought would have been immortal in Olympus, but is in a great and painful purgatory. He is nowhere, for all of his efforts, and Odysseus/Ulysses is in great confusion as to why, because all the stories say to die a warrior is the greatest death. He finds out he should have stayed at home and been with his wife and made children.
Groucho with his movie trailing, stands alone with his punchline failing
Another juxtaposition of character. In this world, Groucho isn't funny at all. His jokes lie dead, entertainment is not had.

Ku Klux Klan serve hot soul food, and the band plays "In The Mood"
The likelihood that the KKK would serve a traditionally Negro/African styled food is preposterous. In this realm they would. ''In The Mood'' was made famous by the Glen Miller Orchestra in 1940, but I'd be interested to know who wrote it in 1938, and if a black band performed it first.

The cheerleader waves her cyanide wand, there's a smell of peach blossom and bitter almond
The cheerleader alludes to America, just by association. But the imagery says that this sweet, innocent character holds in its hand something deadly, that smells far sweeter than what its poison contains.

Caryl Chessman sniffs the air and leads the parade He knows, in a scent, you can bottle all you made Which is directly related to this man. Annotated excerpt:

Caryl Chessman (1922-60) was an American convict-author who was con- victed on 17 charges of kidnapping, robbery and rape. He was granted 8 stays of execution by the governor of California and therefore spent the longest period on record on death row: 12 years. He carried out a brilliant legal battle from prison, learned 4 languages and wrote sev- eral best selling books during this time. He was eventually executed and the publicity generated worldwide criticism of the American judic- ial system. He was one of the first people to die in a gas chamber. The smell of peach blossom and bitter almond is the characteristic one for cyanide gas. The phrase "in a scent" might be a play on words also meaning "innocent." If this were the case "innocent, you can bottle all you made" would then mean that if Caryl were to successful- ly prove his innocence, he could bottle up, or put behind him, his previous actions and go free.

It relates to Rael's time in this Other World. It is his punishment for things he necessarily did not commit, but for the sins of the world.

There's Howard Hughes in blue suede shoes, smiling at the majorette smoking Winston cigarettes
If there would be a proponent or outspoken person for the Clean Air Act, it would be Hughes. Whose obsessional fanaticism with 'breathing in germs' plagued his later life. Winston Cigarettes he might not enjoy either. Some of this line I have to look into a bit more though, I'm missing something here. It's not the blue suede shoes line, because I think it just nicely rhymes with Hughes. It's the Majorette that I'm interested in, and why she's smoking Winston.

And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles; needles and pins

genesis So the parade begins, or the usual routine comes around again. The Annotated Lamb mentions the hit song Needles and Pins, but what I get more from this line is children playing at home with dangerous things. Like giving a child a knife, and hoping it all works out and no one gets hurt. There's something a little sadistic about this image as well, and I can't tell if the children are dangerous to begin with, or if its the needles and pins themselves. The music that follows this, that introduces Cuckoo Cocoon is slightly melancholy, a bit haunting, but whether it relates to the Children, the Melody of 1974 as a whole, or to introduce Cocoon is up in the air. Maybe its the pessimist in me, or maybe that this song is full of juxtaposed images of icons, but the children with needles and pins sound more dangerous than the needles and pins themselves. That this song brings up so many icons of the entertainment industry, the Madonna's themselves may even be about Marilyn Monroe's and Rita Hayworth's as much as about the Virgin Mary, that if there was a possible problem Peter Gabriel had with the success Genesis were starting to attain, especially with him being the focus of their attention, it may be in this song. Especially with the Odysseus/Ulysses tale, and that Gabriel's concerns about his daughter's survival over band interests may have instructed some of his concerns about the 'entertainment' industry and what really mattered. It depends on when the song was written. Before, during or after any such concerns happened.

THE WALL OF DEATH:

So far we have been introduced to 3 main characters, and two minor characters. The Butterfly Collector, The Lamb and Rael are our 3 main ones, Suzanne and The Cab Driver are the two minor.

In the Story, Rael emerges from the Subway, and walks along the city street. Steam is everywhere, as he passes one patrolman who gives him suspicious looks. Out of the Steam comes The Lamb and it lies down on Broadway. From the moment that the Lamb lies down, the Dark Cloud/Wall of Death appears, and only Rael notices it.

The sky is overcast and as Rael looks back a dark cloud is descending like a balloon into Times Square. It rests on the ground and shapes itself into a hard edged flat surface, which solidifies and extends itself all the way East and West along 47th St and reaching up to the dark sky.

As it becomes a screen showing what had existed in 3 dimensions, on the other side, it begins to move forward. Rael starts to run towards Columbus Circle. The wind begins to stop him. Eventually covered in dust he becomes a sitting duck for this impending threat. No one else in Times Square or NYC notices this cloud.

In the song The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, at this point, we see this happen:

Suzanne tired her work all done, Thinks money - honey - be on - neon. Cabman's velvet glove sounds the horn And the sawdust king spits out his scorn. Wonder women you can draw your blind! Don't look at me! I'm not your kind. I'm Rael!

Something inside me has just begun, Lord knows what I have done, And the lamb lies down on Broadway. On Broadway - They say the lights are always bright on Broadway. They say there's always magic in the air.

By this point, The Lamb has already come out of the sidewalk steam in the first verse, so the 'bridges' just re-emphasise The Lamb's appearance. But the introduction of these two minor characters seems to me just as important as the three major ones, because they seem to coincide with what happens to Rael, the dark cloud, and his fate.

Suzanne tired her work all done,
Thinks money - honey - be on - neon

We have been told Rael emerges into daylight, and that Times Square is basically coming to morning Life. So we can assume that Suzanne has worked all night, and is just making her way home in this cab. The possibility of her being a prostitute is something that can be considered, in the lines money-honey-be on-neon.

Cabman's velvet glove sounds the horn
Some suggest this is a reference to Andy Warhol/Velvet Underground, and I'm not going to dispute or encourage that, but what is more obvious is that the Cab Driver has just issued a warning with his horn. Why, we're not quite sure.

And the sawdust king spits out his scorn.
Who is the Sawdust King? Is it Rael? Scorn is spat out as the horn is blown, it is obvious it is in retaliation or answer to the horn blowing. And what is a Sawdust King anyway?

E. Cobham Brewer 1810Ė1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Sawdust Parlance (In).
Circus parlance. Of course, the allusion is to the custom of sifting sawdust over the arena to prevent the horses from slipping. http://www.bartleby.com/81/14936.html

So we know that sawdust, just by general imagery is used in Circuses, and we know that it prevents animals/horses, maybe even performers from slipping. And we do know from the story that the streets are wet this day in Times Square. So we must ask, why does the Sawdust King spit out his scorn? Scorn meaning:
1. Contempt or disdain felt toward a person or object considered despicable or unworthy. 2. The _expression of such an attitude in behavior or speech; derision

A typical New York reaction to additional aggravation, I've been there, I know! But you have to ask why the Sawdust King.

Wonder women you can draw your blind!
Don't look at me! I'm not your kind.
I'm Rael!

Whether the blinds are open or closed is a question to ask. Either way, the Wonder Women are either wanting to see something, or shutting it out. Something has happened. The Wonder Wom(a)n reference is of course an allusion to the comic book heroine, but to be filled with Wonder also brings up this in definition: To feel curiosity or be in doubt about: wondered what happened. genesis It means other things as well, to be in awe, or marvelling at something, but curiosity is also something to be noted. There is obvious aggression coming from Rael towards these Wonder Women and their possible curiosity as to what has just happened, but it has nothing to do with The Lamb lying down, because no one can see that. Nor the dark cloud about to form. How does Rael mean, I'm not your kind? Does he mean 'anymore', or 'never was'? What I have not seen suggested yet online, or interpretation is that Rael's ''death'' is due to the Cab Driver/Suzanne. That the sounding of the horn is quite possibly to Rael before he is hit by the car. The story mentions the WALK, DON'T WALK street signs. Sawdust may be an allusion to 'slipping', and Rael's contempt to the cab driver for 'spoiling his day'. But in the song, the moment the Cab Driver sounds his horn, is when things change for Rael.

From the Annotated Lamb:
On the right hand picture, Rael is mouthless whereas everyone else is shouting. 'The chamber was in confusion - all of the voices shouting loud' Lilywhite Lilith.

He is mouthless because he is less bound (than the 'Carpet Crawlers') and so feels less of an urge to shout. I think he also is at this point feeling disheartened (with 'townmen' and and the 'man who does shout what he's found' as in 'Chamber Of 32 Doors') and couldn't shout if he wanted to. One man on the picture (the one whose arm overlaps into the "corridor" picture wears the same outfit as the character following Rael, though is clearly not Rael or John. This accentuates the uncertainty throughout Rael's adventure.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. Now Isaiah can be attributed everything there is to be attributed to the Jewish people being persecuted for the sins of the world. Isaiah introduced the idea that suffering & pain was part of God's plan, for a particular people, that there was a reason for it. It changes focus from animal sacrifice, to actual human sacrifice in a different context than before in Jewish religious practice. And this whole notion was then assigned to just one person in Christianity, Christ. The depth & intelligence of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway will always be worth talking about, because it is there. This relatively short lyrical piece serves as a bridge between Rael being engulfed by the Wall of Death, and his emergence on the 'Other Side' of this. The lyric simply describes the comfort he feels being in this place where nothing is alive. . . . . . the cuckoo and the cocoon may be just a combination of two words because they sound good together, but it also can describe Rael's possible state of mind, and his place of being for the moment.

Wrapped up in some powdered wool-I guess I'm losing touch
Another reference to his Lamb status.

Don't tell me this is dying, 'cos I ain't changed that much
The only sound is water drops, I wonder where the hell I am
Some kind of jam?
Cuckoo cocoon have I come too, too soon for you?

Has he? He is obviously questioning whether he has died, but if we ascribe cuckoo to being 'crazy' or mentally ill, and the coccon being a protective shell from a harsh environment, Rael may be as much questioning his sanity in this predicament, as he is also feeling calm and protected by it at the same time. Whatever has happened to him, his 'insanity' is a blessing and a curse.

There's nothing I can recognize, this is nowhere that I've known
With no sign of life at all, I guess that I'm alone
And I feel so secure that I know this can't be real
but I feel good
Cuckoo Cocoon have I come too, too soon for you?

I wonder if I'm a prisoner locked in some Brooklyn jail
-or some sort of Jonah shut up inside the whale
No-I'm still Rael and I'm stuck in some kind of cave
What could have saved me?
Cuckoo cocoon have I come too, too soon for you?

Another Biblical reference creeps in to this verse with the inclusion of Jonah. It may be a minor one in the plot, just in reference to being trapped, or a major one in the plot just by WHY Jonah was inside that whale. Jonah the Prophet may be considered a minor prophet of the Old Testament, just by the size of his book compared to Isaiah or Ezekiel. But his story is often aligned with that of Christ, and its pretty prevalent in the New Testament, where even parts of Jonah's leftover punishments are made right by Christ.

Jonah was a servant of God, who was instructed by Yahweh to preach to the mightiest empire of the time, the Assyrians, in Nineveh. They held the God Dagon, a half-man, half-fish being as their diety. Jonah, who felt the Assyrians were enemies of the Jews, should be punished for their crimes, and should receive no warning of what God was going to do, or be allowed his forgiveness. Or maybe not. Either way Jonah refused to talk to the Assyrians, and he fled. Which of course, was against God's command. Jonah made his way to a boat with a crew, and set sail. But as they were hitting the deepest waters, God called up a storm to assail the boat.

All of the crew wondered why the storm was there, and they figured someone on the boat was bringing down God's wrath on them, and in the end they figured out it was Jonah. They asked him to appease his God to save them from the storm, but since Jonah had refused God's command with the Assyrians, he was ''spiritually adrift'', he had no communicado with God. So he told the crew to throw him overboard, which would get rid of God's wrath on their boat, and he would not prolong their crisis by not being able to speak to God.

They did, and God sent a whale to swallow Jonah whole. In the whale he spent 3 days and 3 nights, and eventually atoned for his rejecting God's command. Again, the Sacrifice is brought up in the story of Jonah. Gabriel may be using Cuckoo Cocoon to describe the massive size of Rael's entrapment, or the feeling he has been swallowed whole. But the story of Christ in New Testament verse liberally chooses affinity with Jonah, probably with more attention than he received in the Old Testament. Some see Jonah as a coward, others see him as brave enough to challenge God, but in the end Jonah has to reside in the fact that God will win everytime, so a sacrifice must be made, even though you may not agree with it. A little bit more about Dagon though, because I never like to see one side of a tale told without the other . . .

This is one description:
Dagon, the name means "corn", is an ancient Mesopotamian vegetation god, father of Baal in his father's attributes. He is the god of crop fertility and the inventor of the plough. He passed this knowledge to mankind to let them better till the soil and produce food. Dagon's temples were in Philistine for about 2000 years, although Baal took over in most parts of the Middle East. Dagon is one of the old gods. The Ras Shamra texts describe Dagon as coeval with El, who is the most ancient and senior of all the Semitic gods. Dagon's temple at Ashdod still existed right up until the time of the Hasmoneans [who ruled parts of Palestine in Jesus' days]. Dagon was portrayed half man and half fish. http://www.pantheon.org/articles/d/dagon.html?esc

Now the Pantheon of Ancient Gods is an entire OTHER subject, but its important to note that Satan, who is so minor in Old Testament, has grown in size and stature uncomparable. It all makes very interesting reading and study -- but this is about Lamb, so I'll confine it.

IN THE CAGE
In the Cage opens with lines I find truly beautiful in their simplicity. Iím also reminded of later works by Kate Bush and Pink Floyd/Roger Waters, which almost echo the same sentiment. In the Cage opens with a sense of calm and serenity, a continuation of the feelings expressed in Cuckoo Cocoon, but on a level that borders on Motherhood and maternal instinct. Which reminds me of Kate Bushís Mother Stands For Comfort, and Roger Waterís Mother. Both songs set up Mother as this very protective, safe haven from the dangers of the world, but Mother also makes those dangers seem like she is the only one that can protect the child from these harsh and frightening facts of life. Much the sentiments expressed in Cuckoo Cocoon about Raelís present state. He is protected by wool from this unknown and possible dangerous situation he now finds himself in, but at cost of questioning his own sanity, and his own mortality. He is safe, but still in danger being safe.

Mother Stands For Comfort lyric excerpt:
It breaks the cage, and fear escapes and takes possession,
Just like a crowd rioting inside.
(Make me do this, make me do that, make me do this)
Make me do that.
Am I the cat that takes the bird?
To her the hunted, not the hunter.

Mother stands for comfort.
Mother will hide the murderer.
Copyright © 1985 by Kate Bush

Mother lyric excerpt:

Momma's gonna make all of your nightmares come true.
Momma's gonna put all of her fears into you.
Momma's gonna keep you right here under her wing.
She won't let you fly, but she might let you sing.
Momma's gonna keep Baby cozy and warm.

Ooo Babe, of course Momma's gonna help build a wall
Copyright © 1979 by Roger Waters

In the Cage opens with the lines:

I got sunshine in my stomach Like I just rocked my baby to sleep I got sunshine in my stomach But I can't keep me from creeping sleep Sleep, deep in the deep

Once again, an extreme peace and comfort is found in the contentment Rael has, but underlying this is an overwhelming urge to escape again, through sleep inevitable. In this opening verse, the sense that Rael, if he would just accept the sunshine in his stomach, would be at peace, but he cannot let go, and succumbs to the creeping. He succumbs to Fear, which throughout the rest of the song expresses itself lyrically and musically. In the Cage as a musical piece is frantic, and echoes his plummet into the Deep. The Story itself describes the nightmare of being trapped in what becomes a living rock cage, and it also introduces the 6th character in The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Brother John. Though Rael's fear can almost qualify as another character by default.

Rockface moves to press my skin
White liquids turn sour within
Turn fast-turn sour
Turn sweat-turn sour
Must tell myself that I'm not here
I'm drowning in a lake of fear
Bottled in a strong compression
My distortion shows obsession
In the cave
Get me out of this cave!

One of the strongest lines in the second verse is Ďmy distortion shows obsessioní. It is Raelís fears magnified, the things he holds on to out of lack of control, like a drowning man, that worsen his condition, and the nightmarish visions. The third verse is Rael trying to get hold of himself in this situation, struggling back to what he knows was his initial state, peace and serenity. If I keep self-control
I'll be safe in my soul
And the childhood belief
Brings a moments relief
But my cynic soon returns
And the lifeboat burns
My spirit just never learns

The childhood belief is an interesting line, because we havenít got any background on Raelís history as a person to know what this childhood belief is to begin with. But we know just by the lines after it, that it is a belief that could possible save his soul. But what returns to Rael is his cynic, almost like another or outside character, which causes this momentís redemption to burn up quickly. And then the almost admonishing, but also self-pitying, my spirit just never learns. Itís a sad line, because this whole verse says that Rael knows where his safety lies, it is within his reach, if only he would let go of his doubts and discretions.

A brief word history of Cynic:
[Latin cynicus, Cynic philosopher, from Greek kunikos, from ku n, kun-, dog. See kwon- in Indo-European Roots.]

Word History: A cynic may be pardoned for thinking that this is a dog's life. The Greek word kunikos, from which cynic comes, was originally an adjective meaning ďdoglike,Ē from ku n, ďdog.Ē The word was probably applied to the Cynic philosophers because of the nickname ku n given to Diogenes of Sinope, the prototypical Cynic. He is reported to have been seen barking in public, urinating on the leg of a table, and masturbating on the street. The first use of the word recorded in English, in a work published from 1547 to 1564, is in the plural for members of this philosophical sect. In 1596 we find the first instance of cynic meaning ďfaultfinder,Ē a sense that was to develop into our modern sense. The meaning ďfaultfinderĒ came naturally from the behavior of countless Cynics who in their pursuit of virtue pointed out the flaws in others. Such faultfinding could lead quite naturally to the belief associated with cynics of today that selfishness determines human behavior.


Stalactites, Stalagmites
Shut me in, lock me tight
Lips are dry, food is dry
Feel like burning, stomach churning
I'm dressed up in a white costume
Padding out left-over room
Body stretching, feel the wretching
In the cage
Get me out of this cage!

By fourth verse, the allusions to sickness, insanity, extreme dementia have all overtaken Rael. The lifeboat is truly burned, and he is in the grip of the worst of his visions, which cause physical and mental retching. This verse has been open to the suggestion that Rael is either in the grips of drug addiction withdrawal, or literally in an insane asylum. But my belief is we have not been told prior to this that Rael is on any drug to begin with. His only incarceration is that which the Wall of Death brought to him, and that this verse merely describes attributes of the worst nightmare of your life. He is truly in the Deep at this point, and a cage begins to form around him. He is now a prisoner of his own Fears.
In the glare of a light
I see a strange kind of sight
Of cages joined to form a star
Each person can't go very far
All tied to their things
They are netted by their strings
Free to flutter in memories of their wasted wings

The fifth verse implies that all is not lost. In the extremes of his most painful experience, Rael has time to notice anything is a miracle in itself. The sense we get from the fourth verse is that he is barely human anymore, contorted, stretched, distorted, and a physical and mental wreck. Even in the grips of his Fear, sense and rationality still make their way to his mind. The imagery of cages joined to form a star is interesting, because it is easy to apply the Star of Davidto that image, with all the Biblical references throughout The Lamb. The history of the Star of David is now presented, if we are to apply that allusion to this song:


genesis The six points of the Star of David symbolize God's rule over the universe in all six directions: north, south, east, west, up and down.
Originally, the Hebrew name Magen David -- literally "Shield of David" -- poetically referred to God. It acknowledges that our military hero, King David, did not win by his
own might, but by the support of the Almighty. This is also alluded to in the third blessing after the Haftorah reading on Shabbat: "Blessed are you God, Shield of David."
One idea is that a six-pointed star receives form and substance from its solid center. This inner core represents the spiritual dimension, surrounded by the six universal
directions. (A similar idea applies to Shabbat -- the seventh day which gives balance and perspective to the six weekdays.)
In Kabbalah, the two triangles represent the dichotomies inherent in man: good vs. evil, spiritual vs. physical, etc
. The two triangles may also represent the reciprocal relationship between the Jewish people and God.
The triangle pointing "up" symbolizes our good deeds which go up to heaven, and then activate a flow of goodness back down to the world, symbolized by the triangle pointing down.
A more practical theory is that during the Bar Kochba rebellion (first century), a new technology was developed for shields using the inherent stability of the triangle.
Behind the shield were two interlocking triangles, forming a hexagonal pattern of support points. (Buckminster Fuller showed how strong triangle-based designs are with his geodesics.)
One cynical suggestion is that the Star of David is an appropriate symbol for the internal strife that often afflicts Jewish nation: two triangles pointing in opposite directions.

On the other hand, you have The Pentagram.
Often associated with Satan, Lucifer and the Occult. But its roots and origins were older than the Christianity and Catholic oppression that suppressed its meaning.

http://www.angelfire.com/id/robpurvis/pentagram.html
The upward point of the star is representative of the spirit. The other four points all represent an element; earth, air, fire, and water. All these things contribute to life and are a part of each of us.

The number 5
The number 5 has always been regarded as mystical and magical, yet essentially 'human'. We have five fingers/toes on each limb extremity.We commonly note five senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. We perceive five stages or initiations in our lives - eg. birth, adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death. (There are other numbers / initiations / stages / attributions). The number 5 is associated with Mars. It signifies severity, conflict and harmony through conflict. In Christianity, five were the wounds of Christ on the cross. There are five pillars of the Muslim faith and five daily times of prayer. Five were the virtues of the medieval knight - generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety as symbolised in the pentagram device of Sir Gawain. The Wiccan Kiss is Fivefold - feet, knees, womb, breasts, lips - Blessed be. The number 5 is prime. The simplest star - the pentagram - requires five lines to draw and it is unicursal; it is a continuous loop. Expressing the saying Every man and every woman is a star, we can juxtapose Man on a pentagram with head and four limbs at the points and the genitalia exactly central. This is Man in microcosm, symbolising our place in the Macrocosm or universe and the Hermetic / Tantric philosophy of associativity as above, so below.

The Golden Proportion
The geometric proportions of the regular pentagram are those of the Golden Section. The Golden Proportion is one beloved of artists since Renaissance times and also to be found in post-Hellenic art and in the geomantic planning of Templar sites, being those proportions of a rectangle considered most pleasing to the eye. Here, the ratio of the lengths of the two sides is equal to the ratio of the longer side to the sum of the two sides. Or : a/b = b/a+b = a+b/a+2b = a+2b/2a+3b = 2a+3b/3a+5b ....etc If a square is added to the long side of a golden rectangle, a larger golden rectangle is formed. Continuing this progression forms the basis for a nautilus spiral. The ratio of the distance between two points of a pentagram to its total width is in the golden proportion, as is the ratio of the height above the horizontal bar to that below, as is the ratio of a central part of a line to the outer part. This ratio forms the foundation of the Fibonacci series of numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, etc. where each number is formed by adding the previous two numbers. The Fibonacci series is much found in nature in the pattern arrangement of flower heads and leaves and many flower heads and fruits themselves exhibit a fivefold symmetry.

PROTECTION AGAINST EVIL
The pentagram has long been believed to be a potent protection against evil, a symbol of conflict that shields the wearer and the home. The pentagram has five spiked wards and a womb shaped defensive, protective pentagon at the centre.

Five elements
Here are five elements, four of matter (earth, air, fire and water) and THE quintessential - spirit. These may be arrayed around the pentagrams points. The word quintessential derives from this fifth element - the spirit. Tracing a path around the pentagram, the elements are placed in order of density - spirit (or aether). fire, air, water, earth. Earth and fire are basal, fixed; air and water are free, flowing. The single point upwards signifies the spirit ruling matter (mind ruling limbs); is a symbol of rightness. With two points up and one (spirit) downwards, subservient, the emphasis is on the carnal nature of Man.

Each person can't go very far
All tied to their things
They are netted by their strings
Free to flutter in memories of their wasted wings

Just repeating the final lines of the 5th verse, because they are quite beautiful imagery. It is also important to note Hindu belief systems, and that attachment to Self, in Death, will require you to repeat it all again. To truly go beyond the mortal self and Ego, one has to let go of all material desires and attachments. If you do not, your soul will return, though God will not allow you to retain the memories of your past life, the suppressed desire to rid oneself of that which prevented spiritual atonement, will be that lifeís journey to fulfil. Release is the key to material suffering. The wasted wings could allow allusions of angels, but I feel it more supplies or lends to the fact that we, as human beings, are allowed to fly, but we are so eager to attach ourselves to constraints, that these gifts of flight are wasted. It may be the hard lesson of Icarus, flying much too high that warns us off of going beyond ourselves and what are our human limitations. The constraints in this instance, not only prevent us from release, but protect us from being burned by the sun. They are our blessing and curse, like Raelís Cuckoo Cocoon .It is also a way of making a point brought up by the Butterfly Collector as part of the story again. The Butterfly Collector states from the beginning, While I write I like to glance at the butterflies in glass that are all around the walls.The people in memory are pinned to events I can't recall too well. We are given a hint that even though Rael may be completely unaware of The Butterfly Collectorís existence, that a sense of this somewhat omnipotent, or powerful character has carried over into Raelís consciousness. Rael understands this almost as fast as the chaos and disorder sought to overwhelm his senses.

It also states that The Butterfly Collector is beyond such attachments as Event and Circumstance. They are inconsequential, though the people are part of his collection much like the butterflies, the attachment to them is moot. The Collector has gone beyond material attachment.
Outside the cage I see my brother John
He turns his head so slowly round
I cry out "Help!" before he can be gone
And he looks at me without a sound
And I shout out "John, please help me!"
But he does not even want to try to speak
I'm helpless in my violent rage
And a silent tear of blood dribbles down his cheek
And I watch him turn again and leave the cage
My little runaway

And here we have the introduction of character No.6 (or No.7 if you count Raelís Fear), Brother John. This character is pivotal in the story, and is as important as our 3 main characters, The Butterfly Collector, The Lamb, and Rael himself. It can be argued that The Lamb is hardly central, but as presented here, The Lamb is the foundation of the whole narrative, it is what this story is built on, all the rest are decoration and reinforcement of the central idea. We can either trace the roots of the name John through its origins, or bring up the association of John with Jesus in the New Testament. Weíll do both.

[Middle English, from Old French Jehan, from Late Latin Ioannes, Iohannes, from Greek I ann s, from Hebrew yŰ n n, Yahweh has been gracious : yŰ, Yahweh; see hwy in Semitic Roots + nan, he has been gracious; see nn in Semitic Roots.]

(1.)One who, with Annas and Caiaphas, sat in judgment on the apostles Peter and John (Acts 4:6). He was of the kindred of the high priest; otherwise unknown.

(2.) The Hebrew name of Mark (q.v.). He is designated by this name in the acts of the Apostles (12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:37).

(3.) THE APOSTLE, brother of James the "Greater" (Matt. 4:21; 10:2; Mark 1:19; 3:17; 10:35).
He was one, probably the younger, of the sons of Zebedee (Matt. 4:21) and Salome (Matt.27:56; comp. Mark 15:40), and was born at Bethsaida. His father was apparently a man of some wealth (comp. Mark 1:20; Luke 5:3; John 19:27).

He was doubtless trained in all that constituted the ordinary education of Jewish youth. When he grew up he followed the occupation of a fisherman on the Lake of Galilee. When John the Baptist began his ministry in the wilderness of Judea, John, with many others, gathered round him, and was deeply influenced by his teaching. There he heard the announcement, "Behold the Lamb of God," and forthwith, on the invitation of Jesus, became a disciple and ranked among his followers (John 1:36, 37) for a time.

He and his brother then returned to their former
avocation, for how long is uncertain. Jesus again called them (Matt. 4: 21;Luke 5:1-11), and now they left all and permanently attached themselves to the
company of his disciples. He became one of the innermost circle (Mark 5:37; Matt. 17:1; 26:37; Mark 13:3).
He was the disciple whom Jesus loved.

In zeal and intensity of character he was a "Boanerges" (Mark 3:17). This spirit once and again broke out (Matt. 20:20-24; Mark 10:35-41; Luke 9:49, 54). At the betrayal he and Peter follow Christ afar off, while the others betake themselves to hasty flight (John 18:15). At the trial he follows Christ into the council chamber, and thence to the praetorium (18:16, 19, 28) and to the place of crucifixion (19:26, 27).

To him and Peter, Mary first conveys tidings of the resurrection (20:2), and they are the first to go and see what her strange words mean. After the resurrection he and Peter again return to the Sea of Galilee, where the Lord reveals himself to them (21:1, 7). We find Peter and John frequently after this together (Acts 3:1; 4:13). John remained apparently in Jerusalem as the leader of the church there (Acts 15:6; Gal. 2:9). His subsequent history is unrecorded. He was not there, however, at the time of Paul's last visit (Acts 21:15-40). He appears to have retired to Ephesus, but at what time is unknown. The seven churches of Asia were the objects of his special care (Rev. 1:11). He suffered under persecution, and was banished to Patmos (1:9); whence he again returned to Ephesus, where he died, probably about A.D. 98, having outlived all or nearly all the friends and companions even of his maturer years. There are many interesting traditions regarding John during his residence at Ephesus, but these cannot claim the character of historical truth.

Itís important to note that we have a few Johnís to speak of in New Testament history, as well as the Apostle John, there is John The Baptist, who Jesus sees as a great Prophet and almost Guru if you will.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=John%20The%20Baptist

The "forerunner of our Lord." We have but fragmentary and imperfect accounts of him in the Gospels. He was of priestly descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abia (1 Chr. 24:10), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5). The mission of John was the subject of prophecy (Matt. 3:3; Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1). His birth, which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold by an angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64).

After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke 1:80. John was a Nazarite from his birth (Luke 1:15; Num. 6:1-12). He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (Matt. 3:1-12). At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum of his preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and warned them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke 3:8). "As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating. Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned against extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine and manner of life roused the entire south of Palestine, and the people from all parts flocked to the place where he was, on the banks of the Jordan. There he baptized thousands unto repentance. The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth (Matt. 3:5), and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John, on the special ground that it became him to "fulfil all righteousness" (3:15).

John's special office ceased with the baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to his disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God."

His public ministry was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a close by his being cast into prison by Herod, whom he had reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his brother Philip (Luke 3:19). He was shut up in the castle of Machaerus (q.v.), a fortress on the southern extremity of Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, and here he was beheaded. His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave, went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Matt. 14:3-12). John's death occurred apparently just before the third Passover of our Lord's ministry. Our Lord himself testified regarding him that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John 5:35).

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

By Biblical reference alone, I would associate Brother John in the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway more with the Apostle John than with John The Baptist. There are a thousand interpretations through theology and different belief systems what John could represent. We know by the end of this work, that John is Rael's salvation and escape from his Fears and constraints, and that John was merely another 'Self' of Rael that needed reconcilement before Rael could transcend his purgatory and ''mortal'' attachments. But in Biblical reference, John serves as witness to The Lamb of God, his persecution, his trial, his sacrifice, and his redemption, which I feel shares more in affinity with John The Apostle, if New Testament reference is to be applied to this character.

Outside the cage I see my brother John
He turns his head so slowly round
I cry out "Help!" before he can be gone
And he looks at me without a sound
And I shout out "John, please help me!"
But he does not even want to try to speak
I'm helpless in my violent rage
And a silent tear of blood dribbles down his cheek
And I watch him turn again and leave the cage

In this 6th verse, character No.6, Brother John, is much like The Lamb itself. Present, silent, without reproach. His history with Rael is unsaid, he is only announced as his Brother, and we get no further clue as to if this is a blood relation, or his brother in Humanity. Rael seeks help from John to release him from his cage, but receives nothing but silence, and in that silence, a tear of blood. Referencing the Tear of Blood is hard to do. And it seems now to be associated with Goth Culture, and poetry about graves and the dark. But it is not hard to associate it with sacrifice, and often a tear rolling down the cheek in Biblical relic or statue, has signified the presence of God in our mortal world. As in statues of the Virgin Mary miraculously weeping water, or other such Christian, or even Hindu antiquities showing signs of the spiritual. The significance of Blood in the New Testament, and it being steeped with the Holy Communionís history is important as well, and is all related to the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God. It may just serve as a poignant image, that as Rael suffers loudly, and violently with his sacrifice, John also suffers, silently, yet with no less pain. Raelís suffering is Johnís, no matter his unwillingness to help Rael out of his cage. Whether it is actually unwillingness, or that which inspires Rael to free himself, which gives him purpose to break out of the cage is explored in the 7th verse.

In a trap, feel a strap
Holding still, Pinned for kill
Chances narrow that I'll make it
In the cushioned straightjacket
Just like 22nd street
And they got me by their neck and feet
Pressure's building, can't take more
My headache's charge, my earache's roar
in this pain
Get me out of this pain!

The grips of Raelís predicament overtake him again. For a brief moment, much like the appearance of the Star Cages, Rael is given reprieve from his punishment in the cave with the appearance of John. And with this appearance, Rael demands release from what he knows is his undoing. From the beginning we know Rael realised peace and serenity, but his Fears overwhelmed him, and he suffered in those fears like he never had before. It brought to him a pain that seems worse than death itself. He had escape in acceptance of the sunshine in his stomach, but let go to sleep and fear. He retained a memory of a childhood belief that offered a lifeboat, but his cynic returned and burned it away. He now has this final chance to escape his pain with John, even though John seems unapproachable, unwanting, yet suffering as much as Rael is, though silently.

If I could turn to liquid
I could fill the cracks up in the rock
But I know that I am solid
And I am my own bad luck
Outside John disappears and my cage dissolves
And without any reason my body revolves

Keep on turning
Keep on turning
Keep on turning
Keep on turning
Keep on turning
Turning around
Just spinning around
Down, down, down ...

Rael admitting that Rael is the cause of Raelís undoing, is consciousness personified. In the Vedas, unconsciousness is our undoing, our failing. When we do not realise God consciousness, we are in our own hell, and though the Hindu belief does not call such things Hell, to be without God consciousness is Hell itself. Rael has realised that the Cage are his fears, his doubts, and it is with this realisation that he is free. John disappears, his mission done. With his appearance, he signals Raelís realisation that the cage is manifested by his own fears. It is almost in an instant. Rael is aware of his mortal self (but I know that I am solid), but what follows is his own admission that he is there through his own design, and with that his cage dissolves. He is released. The cage could easily be his own physical, mortal shell, which may be the very next lesson he learns in letting go of in the next song, The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging.

THE GRAND PARADE OF LIFELESS PACKAGING

With the dissolvement of Raelís cage, and possible mortal attachments (The Shell), he spirals down into a factory. It is quite possible here that he is reconciled with what he has just let go of, his fear of mortal death, and the acceptance of spiritual Ďre-birthí or life. Whether this is true of the song as an analogy of the shedding of mortal skin is up to the viewer, but The Grand Parade also could serve as a heavy indictment of material life and pursuits. The possibility that this was Peter Gabrielís view of the industry to which he was quickly becoming a part of through his notoriety with Genesis is equally as approachable. At times, I have thought the Grand Parade is placed incorrectly in the track sequence. It has always felt a bit too early, or a bit too late in the album, but it has remained my 3rd favourite track despite all this. But with the conclusions or speculations I have found analysing this work, The Grand Parade following what happens during In The Cage, and Raelís realisations, make more sense than they did before. I say too early in the work because it could easily be placed after The Chamber of 32 Doors. I say too late because it could easily be put in after The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway to further describe the difference between Rael, and the rest of Times Square that has yet to notice any Dark Cloud or possible Lamb lying down. With this research, I have found The Grand Parade is perfect where it is, if it serves to reconcile Rael, with the loss of his mortal shell, and coming to terms with it in the scheme of things and his predicament.

"It's the last great adventure left to man kind"
-Screams a drooping lady
offering her dreamdolls at less than extortionate prices
and as the notes and coins are taken out
I'm taken in, to the factory floor

As has been noted online, notes and coins is a little out of context with an American street kid, and bears more in relation to Peter Gabriel himself. This might lend to a few conclusions.

1.That the song was written before The Lamb concept was actually finalised. 2.That the song is a direct indictment and essay on how Peter Gabriel felt about the Industry.

In the end, it does serve the purpose to which In the Cage points to regardless, as a conclusion to a realisation.

Why is it the last great adventure left to mankind? The line is open to any number of interpretations, and I honestly am not going to attempt to do that, because it could mean so many things. It may have something to do with the Mortal Shell itself, Life itself. But one would hazard to guess. It may be just a selling point for any person to actually buy these dreamdolls, and if In the Cage taught Rael any lessons, this marketing ploy should not work, because he has just learned this great adventure causes a multitude of pains and no great reward. So far. Why is the lady drooping? It may be just used as an image to reinforce, maybe, the aging process of the shell. Its temporal state. Much like the dreamdolls that are sold cheap, the Drooping Lady may just be another allusion saying, these arenít worth your money really. In the actual Story, the Drooping Lady is a much more defined character, who fully explains what these dreamdolls do, their purpose, what they fulfil for the buyer, and a hint that something greater is at work. The Boss of this factory is never mentioned, or who she works for.

For the Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging
-All ready to use
The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging
-I just need a fuse

And we are introduced to what this possibly massive factory is called, or what its product is. Rael understands by the admission of needing a fuse, some ignition, that all he needs is a purpose to purchase another packaged entity. The packaging is inconsequential, as the Drooping Lady explains, because each package suits its wearer, or as she says, everyoneís look becomes them. And that each is provided with a guarantee for a successful birth and trouble-free infancy, apart from the low market Mal-nutritioned model. I hesitate to bring up something so personal in Gabrielís life at this point, but it does bear reflection. If one also keeps in mind if this event did happen at the same time as the songís creation, or at least surrounding it. And that is the birth of his first child, and the problems she faced in surviving through the first night of her birth. If Genesis and Peter Gabriel had a falling out in priorities, it was here. Gabriel realised his primary overall concern was not the band anymore, it was his child, and with that his priorities completely changed. He had grown up. If this song serves as an indictment of mortal life, it is hardly Ďbitterí in doing so. The general tone Rael has is one of a desire to maybe relive through one of these models. The general sense of Ďwasteí is gathered, but the packaging is also designed to have purpose of some sort. Itís a paradox within itself. The Dreamdolls are just that, waiting to become Reality in what is essentially a Fantasy, an illusion. Rael truly makes no judgement about this, he merely makes commentary about the packaging itself. It would be easy to brandish venom about sales representatives, but this is not done. It is just stated that these are forms of Dreamdolls to be purchased, if one should so wish.

The song further goes into describing the production line, like a travelogue. It lyrically says what the Story has also suggested, that these are all ready to wear packages for whatever purpose should so suit. But what the Story tells, is that Rael sees familiar faces along this production line, members of his old gang, and this causes him concern and worry over his own safety in this place. He makes a quick run out to the factory floor, and seeing no one is in his pursuit, he notices his Brother John. Upon his head is stamped the number 9.

The number 9 can mean a great many things.

In Numerology, it has come to represent this:
Nine is ruled by the planet Mars, and so 9 will fight for what it believes in and to protect those it loves. It is a powerful number and sees the big picture much easier than the details in front of it. Since Nine is the highest single number, it is capable of achieving great spiritual and mental results. Nine needs to avoid acting or speaking impulsively

In Kabbala, the number 9 is represented by the Sephira Yesod. Numbers and the Jewish history are intrinsically linked, most of, if not all of their language is represented by numbers, from the word for Father, to Mother, to Child. Sephira Yesod is a stage in the Tree of Life, or a part of a natural progression through the numbers, in existence. This is a very general description Iím stating, and a full research into ancient Kabbala would be necessary. And I donít mean buying bottled water at $45.00 a shot. Below is part of the diagram of The Tree of Life according to Kabbalistic tradition.

THE TRADITIONAL TREE OF LIFE DIAGRAM:

Malkut - This is the physical world and all things that are perceived by the physical senses. This is the Earth. Consciousness here is direct and limited. No thoughts about the things experienced are proper to Malkut, only the experiences of the physical events and material objects. Which we'll see later The Path of Taw - This is the transitional state of consciousness whereby the physical, direct consciousness of the Sephira Malkut is elevated to the half-awake dream consciousness of the Sephira Yesod. The world is found to be filled with endless forms in endless change. On the Tarot card of this path, a figure dances out the steps of existence within a womb-shaped wreath. The perceptions of the senses in the World are like those of an observer at a ballet. This is the first drawing of meaning from the Physical World and from the sensual experience of all created things.

YESOD

Now, in the song itself, Johnís appearance is very sudden, and there is no mention of Raelís discomfort in seeing familiar faces in the production line, just that he sees them. In the Story is a different tale. And here we see a theme that is emerging in what was the first side of this album. That with every moment that Rael feels his greatest fear, apprehension, or doubt about his state of being, John appears. With these appearances, Rael is somehow pacified, released from one condition, and into another. The number 9 is given no great significance in the song, or the Story, but it is interesting nonetheless. Especially if it can be applied to what happens in the Factory of Lifeless Packaging, and what instantly happens to Rael once John appears with a number 9 on his forehead. What happens is he is transported back to NYC. And if we apply part of the definition in Kabbalistic traditional usage of the number 9 as Yesod, the perceptions of the senses are woven into a loose pattern that is but a single step from direct perception of the Physical World, the number 9 makes much more sense.

Especially in respects to the Dreamdoll, Lifeless packaging environment that has just caused Rael apprehension and fear (once again). He is not in NYC proper, he is in a facsimile of it, which is just as surreal as the world on the other side of the Wall of Death. NYC in reality is bound by realistic limitations. In the world of NYC Rael has just been transported to, with the appearance of Brother John No.9, he is given a glimpse of his former reality, a pseudo-NYC. And what he finds in this version of NYC, is another rite of passage.Is Raelís fear of the production line and familiar faces, resistance to returning, or reincarnating back into Ďexistenceí? He panics once he discovers people he once knew in this place of Lifeless Packaging, and he is once again soothed by the appearance of John in this fear. As stated before, Rael makes no judgements on the packaging itself, he merely states what it is in the production line he is seeing. There is no scorn directed towards The Drooping Lady, or the products she is selling that have been manufactured. So Raelís fear is based on that he sees others he used to know in this line, and he does not want to end up like them. His fear is the same as what was experienced in the Cage, and causes him to run and panic. And like in the cage, John reappears to him, almost as a gateway out. In this, we can assume, that Rael wants no part of reincarnation, or returning to NYC, or our reality. He makes his choice based on Fear, the result is he is lead to the next stage of his journey. As in Kabbalah, Yesod is the stage up from Malkut, which represents the physical world as we know it, the Earth. And for Rael, Malkut is NYC, and Times Square. Malkut is his gang, and his life in a reformatory. Itís everything he used to know. Between Malkut, and Yesod, is The Path of Taw. And this is where Rael next takes his steps toward his salvation.

BACK IN N.Y.C.

And as Rael is transported back to this facsimile of NYC, he is most likely faced with what he was in this environment. Himself, as what was a Lifeless package, a Dreamdoll, like everyone else. So throughout Back In NYC, Rael expresses anger at this illusion, which is shown more in lyric and music, than the Story suggests. The Story deals very briefly with Raelís visit to pseudo-NYC, but the song is an open challenge by Rael, as to what the world thinks of him, and most likely what he thinks of himself. We are also introduced to another character, albeit a strange one.

I see faces and traces of home back in New York City-
Like in the Lifeless packaging factory, Rael is brought back to his former life, though slightly removed. Throughout the song Gabriel sings with aggression and chaos, giving semblance to Raelís visit might not be as pleasant as it should be. After his nightmarish visions in the Cage, and the dreamlike state of the Factory, NYC would or should be a pleasant change. But the song is full of aggression.

So you think I'm a tough kid? Is that what you heard?
Well I like to see some action and it gets into my blood
They call me the trail blazer-Rael-electric razor
I'm a pitcher in a chain gang, we don't believe in pain

Who is Rael talking to here? The Story gives no inclination that any crowd has gathered, and the song gives no indication that someone is challenging who Rael is, or what he appears to be. This part of the verse is defensive and aggressive in its assertion that what you think you know about Rael as a person might be true. He is not contradicting it, he even supplies evidence to support it. But who Rael is talking to remains a mystery.

'cos we're only as strong, yes we're only as strong, as the
weakest link in the chain

One of the best lines in the song. It is the realisation that no matter how strong you may appear, in the Big Picture, you are small. Once again The Lamb Lies Down goes from the immensely huge, to the seemingly insignificant. To Rael being a part of this gang makes him strong, but in his own mind, he knows he is only a small part of what it is. And that with any Ďstructureí, no matter how powerful it is, contains a vulnerable weak spot, much like the Achilles Heel. Though this line does not specifically mention Achilles, by association, it can be related back to Homerís Odyssey, and the journey of Odysseus (later Ulysses).

Let me out of Pontiac when I was just seventeen
I had to get it out of me, if you know what I mean, what I mean

Do we? In the Story, Raelís time in the Pontiac Reformatory is the only thing that actually gains him respect in his gang, The Pack. Not that they were called The Pack, but it can easily be associated with Wolves, or a hunting team out for the kill, or sport. Whatever the reasons he is put into Pontiac, which are never fully explained, heís release from there apparently makes him what you see today, as illustrated in the next few lines.

You say I must be crazy, 'cos I don't care who I hit
But I know it's me thatís hittin' out, and I'm, I'm not full of shit
I don't care who I hurt, I don't care who I do wrong
This is your mess I'm stuck in, I really don't belong
When I take out my bottle, filled up high with gasoline
You can tell by the night, fires where Rael has been, has been

He shifts all responsibility for his actions back on society. He blames them for being the ones who are untrue to themselves, and that only he isnít being two-faced about it. In retaliation for the conditions he believes society has enforced on him, he sets about a path of destruction, of ridding himself of that which creates his anger and frustration. He does not care who he strikes out against, nor what he burns. It is your world that he is fighting against, and your world has made him what he is. He is only Effect to the Cause, and feels no blame for what that effect causes. The anger that is being hurled at those who have made him what he was, may in fact be anger at himself for being that way. For letting them, in a way, control him. After what he has just seen in the Lifeless Packaging factory, his anger may come as no surprise that everything looks false now, but he is still not prepared to look at himself in that equation. Inside he knows he is a product of Lifeless Packaging, but on the surface he fights against this with his anger, and identification that he is Real. He is Rael.

As I cuddled the porcupine
He said I had none to blame, but me
Held my heart, deep in hair
Time to shave, shave it off, it off

But here is his wake up call. A porcupine of course, is an incredibly vulnerable animal, which is only protected by its sharp quills. No animal dare approach it, or try and devour it, because it will get a painful surprise. But the porcupineís actual body, is much like a crabís. An extremely impenetrable surface, protecting an extremely vulnerable body or underbelly. And to add to the imagery of the song and its reference to a hairy heart, Quills are modified hairs that have hollow shafts with solid tips and bases. The quills can be up to five inches long. To shave it all off, is easily observed as making this heart vulnerable to attack, and ready for violation.

No time for romantic escape
When your fluffy heart is ready for rape. No!
No time for romantic escape
When your fluffy heart is ready for rape. No!
Off we go!

The Noís, and their distorted quality as they are sung, must be the porcupine heart in protest. To now have an audio version, of what was once an image of a defenceless porcupine, is horrific as well as incredibly sad. The pity one feels toward this now tiny, vulnerable creature, would now in fact, break your own heart.

You're sitting in your comfort you don't believe I'm real
You cannot buy protection from the way that I feel
Your progressive hypocrites hand out their trash
But it was mine in the first place, so I'll burn it to ash
And I've tasted all the strongest meats
And laid them down in coloured sheets
Who need illusion of love and affection
When you're out walking in the streets with your mainline connection?
Connection.

Once again Rael lashes out in defense, a possible last attack against that which caused his porcupine heart to grow its quills. Rather than concentrate on who the progressive hypocrites are, which could be in a political, or even musical quarter, I personally feel the more important lines are those that say Rael realises what weapon is about to be used upon his now defenceless heart. It is a shock realisation. It is his last quill used, once he has realised that now what is about to render him defenceless is so typical. He should have seen it coming , is what this verse is coming across as saying. He is protesting that such a weapon will have no affect on him whatsoever, and that he has been through this before, and heíll get through it again. His hairless heart need not worry.

He is lying once again to himself.

As I cuddled the porcupine
He said I had none to blame, but me
Held my heart, deep in hair
Time to shave, shave it off, it off
No time for romantic escape
When your fluffy heart is ready for rape. No!
...No time

And Rael realises it is time.

The instrumental piece HAIRLESS HEART follows this song, almost like a lamentation or death knell for the poor, defenceless porcupine heart. It has no chance for survival, all its quills are unattached, shaven off.

It will not survive Love.

© Steven St Thomas (special correspondent) Beatlesnumber9.com

PURCHASE THIS CD: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

~WE GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS~
All donations go toward web site expenses and are greatly appreciated!

You are visitor number

back to top